Am I a sex addict? At Life Works Recovery, we hear this question on a daily basis. It takes a great deal of training, education, and experience to effectively answer this question.
What makes a sex addict a sex addict?
All addiction, whether it alcohol, drugs, gambling, gaming, or sex, have a number of things in common. First and foremost all addiction should be understood as a relationship with either a mood altering substance or a mood altering behavior. And this relationship should be understood as being pathological, or in other words – – sick.
So to further drill this down, sex addiction and its related behaviors of pornography addiction, compulsive masturbation, serial affairs, seduction, pay for sex, exhibitionism, fantasy sex, are all “pathological relationships with mood altering behaviors.”
Sex addiction, like other addictive behaviors, is a way by which we repress, medicate, or in other words avoid our feelings, our pasts, and dealing with whatever difficult situation we have in our lives. All addiction, and in fact all mental illnesses, are rooted in shame, and in avoidance of the tasks and difficulties each of us face in our lives.
A sex addict either lives a chaotic life with no boundaries or a rigid inflexible life with too many boundaries. He or she grew up in a home or the same extremes were practiced.
In assessing a sex addict, clinical experience, history from the wife/partner and family members, coupled with the Sexual Dependency Inventory, which can only be administered by a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist [CSAT], assist in making an accurate diagnosis.
The Sexual Dependency Inventory measures will recall collateral indicators of sex addiction, or in other words measure the damage that the sex addicts behavior has caused in his or her life. These indicators are quite similar to that of other addictions, measuring such things as social consequences, legal consequences, relational consequences, etc.
Sex addicts and porn addicts make numerous attempts to stop their behaviors, broken promises to themselves, and to their partners, and often to God. They our usually unable, however, to stop their behavior and over time we see an escalation in duration and intensity of the behaviors.
If you find yourself as a partner of a sex addict, or fearful that you yourself may be a sex addict, then seek out a Dallas Certified Sex Addiction Therapist today, as it is important that you work with someone well trained, and experienced, in assessing, treating, and understanding how the sex addict, the partner of the sex at it, and the family system interact both in the process of addiction in the process of healing.